Joey Veltkamp’s Guide to First Thursday Art Walk: December 2, 2010

The openings you don’t want to miss at the most popular Art Walk around the Sound.

Cut bank, 2010, Ryan Molenkamp, oil on panel. Courtesy of the artist.

Flood by Ryan Molenkamp / Gallery4Culture: As we enter Seattle’s wettest month, City Arts contributor Ryan Molenkamp pauses to examine our influence on the natural world around us. His drawings and paintings of dark rivers and flood plains feel ominous, as if they are almost decaying from the inside out. The desaturated palette and bird’s eye perspective perfectly capture the Puget Sound and Skagit Valley.  A highlight will be the debut of a 8′ x 36′ drawing.

Three Moments, 2009, Chris Engman, archival inkjet print, 48 x 38 inches. Courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery.

Dust to Dust by Chris Engman / Greg Kucera Gallery: I haven’t stopped thinking about this show since I first saw it nearly two weeks ago. Chris Engman’s large photographs are little puzzles, leaving viewers scratching their heads wondering how these images are created. In an age of Photoshop and scripted ‘realities’, Chris strives for authenticity and  doesn’t try to disguise the tricks he employed, instead he wants to make sure we’re in on them, too.

Susanna Bluhm from the Vs. The Matador calendar. Courtesy of SOIL.

Vs. The Matador / SOIL: If shows are measured by inches written about them, Picasso was definitely Seattle’s giant of 2010. SOIL Gallery dialogues with/pokes fun of/honors/examines the surrounding hype of one of the biggest shows to hit Seattle in a long time. This exhibition is a response to the blockbuster and will include the prominent orange line, security, masterpieces, and just in time for the holidays – a store with traditional gift shop featuring treasures made by local artists such as mugs by Juan Alonso, postcards by Matthew Offenbacher, editioned prints by Troy Gua and much, much more.

Z by Matthew Richter. Courtesy of the artist.

Storefronts Seattle: Storefronts Seattle is a community-driven effort to help revitalize Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square and Chinatown-International District neighborhoods by bringing vibrancy, activity, and light to otherwise vacant spaces and sparsely populated streetscapes.” In other words, neighborhoods don’t want empty storefronts so landlords are letting artists use them as studio spaces and for other artistic pursuits – a total win/win. Here’s a list of all the participants. A few highlights: Matthew Richter will be opening up his furniture storefront this Thursday. LUKE Haynes has a great group show, Quilt by Association, which includes work by Joe Cunningham, Shawn Quinlan and LUKE himself. Many more great artists like Celeste Cooning and Ben Hirshkoff are also participating in Storefronts.

Snowy Branch, Field Museum, Chicago, 2007, Nealy Blau, chromogenic print, 20 x 24 inches. Courtesy of G. Gibson Gallery.

Nealy Blau and Mark Thompson / G. Gibson Gallery: Nealy Blau’s photographs of dioramas from natural history museums are so great that even Oprah picked a book of them as a Glorious Gift Book. Mark Thompson‘s winter-y paintings of Europe are perfect for our La Niña winter.

Mutant Moto by Stefan Hofmann. Courtesy of Spacecraft Clothing.

Spacecraft / Ouch My Eye Gallery: Spacecraft (Stefan Hofmann) will be showing his dense cultural mythologies. The ubiquitous Spacecraft snowcat sticker dates back to 1997; you can now find it affixed to street signs, skateboards and buildings all over the world.

Olive Branch, Casey McGlynn, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 24 inches. Courtesy of Foster/White Gallery.

Olive Branch / Foster/White Gallery: Over eighty works by twenty-eight Foster/White artists, exploring green themes of “sustainability, nature, hue, and peace.”

Strap-on from website, 2010 by Wynne Greenwood, tv monitor, acrylic paint, video. Courtesy of Lawrimore Project.

Strap-on Tvs by Wynne Greenwood / Lawrimore Project: As older TVs become obsolete, artist Wynne Greenwod wants us to reconsider their purpose and asks, “What happens when this awkward and cumbersome chunk of black plastic becomes a sexual body?”

Monkeys (detail), 2010, by Michael Harrison. Courtesy of artist.

Forgotten Works Challenge / Tashiro Kaplan Building: The 10th Anniversary Forgotten Works Challenge will be happening in the Tashiro Kaplan Building. Participating artists had thirty days to complete thirty paintings. 1,500 paintings for $40 each. Wow!

  City Arts and Blue Moon’s Art Walk Awards Grand Finale! will be held at Sole Repair on Capitol Hill on Thursday, December 2 (8:30pm). For the final art walk award and after party of 2010, six judges have each selected their favorite piece of art from 2010 (preview the finalists here). Come cast your vote and be there as we celebrate the winner of $1,000! Complimentary food and drinks, a live mural painting, and DJ Tigerbeat makes it a party. This is a 21+ event and you must RSVP to get in (I repeat: free drinkies):

This blog has been updated since its original publication.